Family dog ownership and levels of physical activity in childhood: findings from the Child Heart and Health Study in England

Am J Public Health. 2010 Sep;100(9):1669-71. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.188193. Epub 2010 Jul 15.


Dog ownership is associated with higher physical activity levels in adults; whether this association occurs in children is unknown. We used accelerometry to examine physical activity levels in 2065 children aged 9 to 10 years. Children from dog-owning families spent more time in light or moderate to vigorous physical activity and recorded higher levels of activity counts per minute (25; 95% confidence interval [CI]=6, 44) and steps per day (357; 95% CI=14, 701) than did children without dogs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic*
  • Child
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dogs*
  • England
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation
  • Motor Activity*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires